We are sad to report that former Air Transport Auxiliary pilot and Sandown Airport and Bees Flight manager Mary Ellis died at her long-time home near the airport’s boundary on 24 July, aged 101. In Pilot’s December 2017 issue Maxi Gainza reunited Mary with a Spitfire that she’d delivered and whose cockpit she had signed – one of 1,000 aircraft of 76 types – more than 400 of them Spitfires – that she flew during her WWII ATA service. This writer has fond memories of Mary, of her late husband Don, and their BA Swallow that, 45 years ago, was the subject of his first
Pilot cover feature. A memorial is planned, but how about an annual commemorative ‘Mary Ellis Fly In’, Sandown? RIP, Mary.